EWING — A Central New Jersey animal rescue group is pressing ahead with an effort to help dogs, cats and humans affected by the flooding in Texas following Hurricane Harvey.

According to Karen Azarchi, the president of EASEL animal rescue league, a trailer will be sent down to Texas to pick up homeless cats and dogs. But first, the trailer will be filled with donations to take to temporary shelters in flooded areas.

“We’re looking for cat and dog food, trash bags, collars, litter, metal bowls, cleaning supplies, mops — there’s a lot of dirt and grime down there,” she said

She said a donation wish list has been posted on the group’s website, easelnj.org, and if people want to give something, “they can bring it down here. The trailer is leaving Friday night. If they can get their stuff down here they can leave it at the front door if we’re not open.”

EASEL is a non-profit animal rescue league. The group is managing the Ewing animal shelter with about 15 dogs and 45 cats.

Donations being collected for people and pets displaced by flooding. David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ

Azarchi noted donations for people are also being accepted.

“We need things like baby food, diapers, trash bags, paper towels, cleaning supplies, they need a lot of mosquito repellent.”

She said after the donations are dropped off in the Lone Star state, “the trailer is going to fill again with the dogs in Houston and the surrounding areas. Right now there are pop-up shelters for humans as well as for the dogs and cats.”

She explained the dogs being picked up are coming from shelters in Houston and other flooded areas.

“What we’re doing is clearing their shelters to make room for the homeless dogs, so when the owners are ready they can pick up their own dogs,” she said.

Azarchi pointed out giving a donation of food, supplies or money is a great way to help pets and people displaced by the flooding, but there’s another option to consider.

“You can come adopt or foster these cats and dogs. We don’t have a lot of room here, but we’re trying to accommodate everything that’s coming in,” she said.

“They don’t need more workers down there, they’re inundated. They’ve got a lot of boats picking up people. Now it’s really cleanup and it’s about housing all these animals.”

Azarchi said pets brought to Jersey will be held for a week to make sure they’re not sick.

She noted three dogs from Houston are already at the EASEL shelter: Luna, Baby and Dexter

Luna needs a new home! David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ

Luna is a mixed breed, 2 years old, flat-coated retriever. Baby is a 1-year-old hound shepherd mix. And Dexter is a 1-year-old lab mix.

Azarchi thanked Ewing Mayor Bert Steinmann for letting the group park their trailer on municipal property.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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